KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Maine Sues CMS Seeking Medcaid Cuts Resolution

Maine -- unhappy with how long a decision is taking -- is suing the federal government over its request to lower Medicaid eligibility.

Politico Pro: Maine Takes CMS To Court Over Medicaid Cuts
Maine Gov. Paul LePage's administration is taking CMS to federal court to force the agency's hand on Medicaid cuts requested by the state. In a statement Tuesday, Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider said the state is asking the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene because the delay in a final decision from CMS "is in effect a denial" of Maine's proposed Medicaid cuts. Last month, Maine demanded that CMS approve the state's request to roll back Medicaid eligibility in three categories, promising a lawsuit if the cuts weren't approved by Sept. 1 (Millman, 9/4).

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Maine Sues For Medicaid Waiver
The state is suing the federal government for failing to act swiftly on its Aug. 1 waiver request seeking to eliminate Medicaid coverage for more than 20,000 residents, demanding that the federal government either approve the waiver or pay the difference in coverage. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the state Friday that it needed more time to review the state's request. The Republican-controlled Maine Legislature voted to eliminate coverage for parents with incomes between 100 percent and 133 percent of the federal poverty level, along with 19- and 20-year-olds, and seniors and disabled people in the Medicare Savings Program (9/4).

In other news, officials in Kansas and Arizona plan public campaigns and meetings on proposed changes to their Medicaid programs --

Kansas Health Institute News: KanCare Website Launched
The State of Kansas today launched a website designed to answer questions about KanCare, Gov. Sam Brownback's plan for using managed care companies to remake the state's Medicaid program. The website,, also includes a link meant to help Medicaid providers -- a group that includes doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and home health agencies -- sign up with the managed care companies that will be administering KanCare. Providers are encouraged to enroll with each of the three companies, or risk of having some of their Medicaid patients assigned to another provider (9/4).

The Arizona Republic: Arizona Public Meetings Slated On Medicaid
Arizona officials will hold public meetings to discuss options for Medicaid expansion under federal health-care reform. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in July upheld the health-care law but gave states the option of rejecting Medicaid expansion, which in Arizona could extend health coverage to an additional 325,000 people in the first year (Reinhart, 9/4).

And a Medicaid rule change in North Carolina could drive 12,000 disabled people out of their homes --

North Carolina Health News: Thousands Of Disabled Could End Up Homeless Due To State Medicaid Rule Change
As many as 12,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are in danger of having to leave their homes on January 1. That could happen if new rules on the assistance they receive in group homes are allowed to go into effect. At a loud and emotional meeting sponsored by the Wake County chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) on Aug. 27, group-home residents were joined in a packed room at a local church by group-home owners and mental health advocates to complain that new rules around Medicaid reimbursement could mean that many homes must close their doors (Hoban, 9/5).

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